US to spend $511 million to expand embassy in Afghan capital in sign of long-term commitment
The U.S. government will spend $511 million to expand its embassy in Kabul, the U.S. ambassador said Wednesday, describing the work as a demonstration of America’s long-term commitment to Afghanistan.
“We make this commitment by commemorating the recent award of a $511 million contract to expand the U.S. Embassy here in Kabul,” Ambassador Karl Eikenberry said during a ceremony at the construction site that marked the formal announcement of the contract.
“We’re going to get a day when that embassy’s up and there’s not going to be these barriers out there, there’s no barbed wire, there’s not going to be all kinds of obstacles out there,” Eikenberry said.
Currently the road to the embassy, located in downtown Kabul, is blocked by large concrete barriers and the building is surrounded by armed security guards.
“This next generation of Afghans growing up, we hope that they come to this embassy, they’re welcome here and this is going to be the new normal for Kabul,” he added.
Eikenberry’s remarks come amid Afghan concerns that the proposal to begin drawing down U.S. forces by July 2011 could leave Afghanistan alone to fight the Taliban insurgency.
Many Afghans felt abandoned by the U.S. after 1989, when the Soviet Union withdrew its army from Afghanistan and U.S. support to mujahedeen fighters dried up. The country sank into years of brutal civil war.
But Eikenberry used his speech to emphasize U.S. commitment to a peaceful Afghanistan, pointing out that the embassy has tripled its civilian staff in the past year. The new facilities will provide offices and living space for many of them.
The project started earlier this year and currently employs about 500 Afghans. Once construction gets under way, more than 1,500 Afghan workers will be employed, Eikenberry said.
Over the last two years, the U.S. has signed contracts to expand American diplomatic facilities in Kabul and consulates in Mazar-e Sharif and Herat provinces that total $790 million, he said. The figure includes the embassy expansion, which should be completed by June 2014.
Source: AP News
Mochila insert follows…
Sarah Huckabee Sanders is so toxic few people would admit to attending her going away party
Outgoing White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders redefined the role of her position by refusing to hold daily briefings and brazenly lying to protect President Donald Trump.
She was even cited in the Mueller report for admitting under oath that she had lied from the podium.
Soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe profanely rips Trump and vows she won’t go to the White House
U.S. women's national soccer team star Megan Rapinoe will not be visiting the White House if the team successfully repeats their Women's World Cup victory.
"I'm not going to the f*cking White House," she told Eight By Eight Magazine.
"We're not going to be invited," she added.
On Monday, President Donald Trump ripped Rapinoe for protested during the national anthem.
Robert Mueller likely thought Don Jr. was guilty — here’s why that actually made it hard to investigate Trump
Special counsel Robert Mueller has completed his investigation of ties between Russia and President Donald Trump's campaign, turned over his findings to Congress, and stepped down from his post at the Justice Department.
His findings were incredibly damning for the president and his allies, finding evidence that the campaign eagerly accepted Russian help, if not a full-blown conspiracy, and outlining ten potential episodes where Trump obstructed justice. But Mueller's conclusions are by no means the end-all of everything that happened. Mueller himself acknowledged in his report that Trump's lack of cooperation probably prevented him from finding a lot of information.